Vegetation and tree removal

This information applies to all tree removal or pruning that does NOT form part of a Development Application (DA).  You will need to lodge a DA for the removal of:

If your tree removal requires a development application, you will need to refer to the Development Application process


The new State Environment Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017 (Vegetation SEPP) has recently been introduced to regulate the clearing of native vegetation in NSW. This policy works together with the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Local Land Services Act 2016.

Outlined below are the steps you need to take in order to check whether an approval, permit or licence is needed to remove trees or vegetation from your property:

Step 1

Step 1

 

Step 2

Step 2 

 

Step 3

Step 3

  • Check whether DCP 14 - Chapter B2 - Preservation of Trees and Other Vegetation applies to your land.
  • If the DCP applies to your land, apply to Council for a permit(PDF, 195KB) to remove the vegetation (refer to item 4 in the frequently asked questions and answers below for details of the application process).
  • If the DCP does not apply to the land, or a permit is not required from Council for the type of clearing proposed, continue to step 4.

 

Step 4

Step 4

  • Check whether the vegetation is likely to be habitat for threatened species or a threatened vegetation community. Contact an ecologist to check for you.
  • If the vegetation is likely to be habitat for threatened species or is a threatened vegetation community, you will need to apply for a Biodiversity Conservation Licence from NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.
  • If you don't believe either of the above items apply to you, please contact Council's Development Support Officers for advice by email or phone 02 6626 7025.

 

Additional information

In addition to the above steps, the NSW Government Office of Local Government has developed a biodiversity assessment and approvals navigator designed to help you identify which approvals apply to your vegetation clearing.

Below you will also find some frequently asked questions and answers relating to vegetation/tree removal and the processes involved:

 

In addition to the above steps, the NSW Government Office of Local Government has developed a biodiversity assessment and approvals navigator designed to help you identify which approvals apply to your vegetation clearing.

Below you will also find some frequently asked questions and answers relating to vegetation/tree removal and the processes involved:

 

Approval from Council or the Native Vegetation Panel may be required.

The new State Environment Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017 ( Vegetation SEPP) has recently been introduced to regulate the clearing of native vegetation in NSW. This policy works with the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Local Land Services Act 2016.

The Vegetation SEPP only applies to non-rural land.

Approval pathways for vegetation clearing activities now depend upon the nature, location and extent of the vegetation clearing. You can use the tool below to figure out which approvals may apply to your clearing activity.

The Vegetation SEPP applies to non-rural land zoned under the Byron Shire Local Environmental Plan 2014 as: RU5, R2, R3, R5, B1, B2, B4, B5, IN1, IN2, SP1, SP2, SP3, RE1, RE2.

Deleted E zones are not applicable just yet, these areas have been deferred. If your property is within these deferred areas you will need to lodge a development application(PDF, 230KB) to remove trees or vegetation.

If your land is zoned RU1 or RU4, the Local Land Services Act 2016 applies - contact Local Land Services on 1300 778 080.

Check the zoning of your land

You can check the zoning of your land to see whether your property is located in an urban area:

  • Clearing native vegetation above the clearing thresholds shown below, requires approval by the Native Vegetation Panel (NVP) For more information, contact Local Land Services on 1300 778 080.

Minimum lot size associated with the property

Clearing threshold

Less than 1 hectare

0.25 hectares or more

1 hectare to less than 40 hectares

0.5 hectares or more

40 hectares to less than 1000 hectares

1 hectare or more

1000 hectares or more

2 hectares or more

 

  • Clearing native vegetation on land identified by the Office of Environment and Heritage on the biodiversity values map will need approval from the Native Vegetation Panel. For more information, contact Local Land Services on 1300 778 080.
  • Clearing and pruning of any trees below the clearing threshold in the table above, and not on the biodiversity values map, may require a permit from Council (refer to next question).

 

 

You should check  DCP 2014 Chapter B2 Preservation of Trees and Other Vegetation to see if it applies to your proposed tree removal. If the DCP applies, you will need to complete an application form for a permit to remove or prune trees. A permit will only be granted if the criteria in the DCP are met.

Complete a Tree Removal Permit(PDF, 195KB) form.

Please ensure that you complete all sections of the application and include a detailed plan showing the property and location of the tree(s), access road, north point, distance from boundaries and buildings and a description of the trees or vegetation proposed for removal.

You are required to pay the application fee when lodging your application with Council. Fees for a tree removal application for the 2018/2019 financial year are as follows:

  • 1-5 trees = $85
  • 6+ trees = $260
  • Notification fees may apply if the application needs to be publicly exhibited.

You can lodge your application the following ways:

  • in person at the customer service centre Station Street, Mullumbimby. You will also need to pay your application fees at the time of lodgement.
  • You can mail your application to Development Support Officer, Byron Shire Council, PO Box 219 MULLUMBIMBY  NSW  2482.

Upon receipt of your application and the applicable fee, your application will be assessed and a determination will be made whether approval is granted for the removal of the vegetation/tree(s).

The tree or vegetation should present an imminent threat to safety, not an alleged threat.

Although works to trees covered by DCP14 - Ch 2 - Preservation of Trees and Other Vegetation require Council's formal approval, there are certain operations which are exempt from obtaining consent and Council can agree on an informal basis.

Anyone who proposes to fell a dead, dying or dangerous tree should apply to Council using the Dead/dying or dangerous tree assessment request(PDF, 153KB) form, giving notice of their intention to do the works. This enables the Council to check the condition of the tree and agree if the works are necessary. The request form is to be accompanied by the following:

  • Photos of the vegetation showing the whole tree, bark, leaves and location of the vegetation to establish context on the property.
  • Where a Council officer is uncertain as to the health of the vegetation, Council may require an Arborist’s Report (as specified in Appendix B2.3 of DCP) to accompany the request.

Failure to give the Council notice of the intended works may result in enforcement action being instigated.

A dead, dying, dangerous tree approval is not development consent for the purposes of any Local Environmental Plan adopted under the terms of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

A dead, dying, dangerous tree approval is merely a declaration from Council confirming that the trees in question are not subject to the protections provided by Council’s Local Environmental Plan. The onus remains upon the applicant to obtain any other approvals or development consent that may be required to remove the trees, including but not limited to National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, Native Vegetation Act 2003 and any other environmental planning instrument adopted under the terms of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Vegetation clearing or pruning that does not require a permit from Council or approval from the Native Vegetation Panel, may still require a licence from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage if the tree is a threatened species, habitat for threatened species (eg, hollows in trees), or forms part of an endangered ecological community.

Contact Council for further information on 02 6626 7000.